Sports

Women’s soccer secures pivotal Ivy win over Princeton

Late-game heroics from forward Story ’19 power Bears to victory over defending champions

By
Senior Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Forward Celia Story ’19 earned Bruno a 2-1 lead in the last three minutes of regulation playing time to yield a win over Princeton.

After a difficult 1-0 loss to Columbia the week before, the women’s soccer team went into its third Ivy League matchup of the season against Princeton Saturday hoping to rebound with its second conference win this year. The Bears (6-2-3, 2-1 Ivy) were able to get the job done, with a tight but convincing 2-1 victory over the Tigers (9-2-1, 1-1-1 Ivy).

Historically, the Bears’ experiences against a strong Princeton program have been full of rough — and rougher — memories. In its 2014 campaign, Brown suffered a deflating 5-0 loss against the Tigers. In their meeting last year, Princeton again topped Bruno in a devastating fashion, with a 4-0 showcase win for the Tigers.

After a five-hour trek down to Princeton, the Bears came out strong. For much of the beginning of the first half, Brown dominated offensive play, controlling the ball in and around the Tigers’s 18-yard box and creating many opportunities to score.

In one specific instance, just nine minutes after the opening whistle, Megan Grant ’19 sent a lofted chip into the box hoping to connect with one of the many Brown offensive players streaking at the goal. This cross had come after combinations between multiple midfielders and forwards, including veteran captain Carly Gould ’17, Nicole Phillips ’19 and Abby Carchiro ’20 in a difficult attempt to keep play alive and the ball moving.

It was at first a missed chance, with Tigers goalie Hanna Winner meeting the ball first in the air and seemingly collecting it under control. But then, Brown forward Jennifer Caruso ’19 had a great heads-up play. After Winner bobbled the ball, Caruso gathered it and netted the rebound to give Bruno the lead over the Tigers — the first for the Bears in over two years.

Play was more balanced for the remainder of the first half, with Princeton also driving multiple crosses and shots at Brown’s dependable goalkeeper Christine Etzel ’19. Etzel stopped and batted away all such attempts, with three saves in the half for each of the Tigers’s three shots on goal. Besides Caruso’s shot, Bruno had three more in the first half, along with two corner-kick opportunities that the Princeton back-line was able to clear out of their defensive zone.

Princeton rallied hard after halftime, and in the 54th minute forward Mimi Asom tied it up at 1-1 after a successfully executed corner-kick for the Tigers eluded Etzel.

As the final minutes of regular time approached, the game was still tied 1-1: Princeton and Brown had been exchanging blows on offense and on defense, but neither team had been able to score. Bruno needed some late-game heroics.

The heroics came with less than three minutes left in regulation, when forward Celia Story ’19 was able to deliver for the Bears, finishing another rebounding ball — this off the side post of Princeton’s goal — to give the Bears the 2-1 lead. This margin was enough for Brown to hang on over the last two minutes and take home the victory.

In the win, Etzel — who has maintained her place throughout the season as one of the top goalkeepers in the NCAA — tallied seven saves on the day, tying her career-high in conference matchups.

Brown will follow this string of Ivy League competitions with its first non-conference game in a few weeks at Holy Cross today. Despite the quick turnaround, the Bears’ confidence and momentum coming off their win over Princeton may give players sufficient energy and poise to perform. After the midweek contest, the Bears will host the Harvard Crimson Saturday at 7 p.m.